I've taken the same route to and from work for nearly six years now, and often set myself on autopilot for the commute. (In fact, there are stretches of walk where I know I'm safe enough to close my eyes and try to perceive the world around me based on smells or sounds. My hearing's not so fine-tuned as to be able to catch the differences between models of BMWs or Subarus, but I can distinguish between a van and a Volkswagon based on wind-resistance. I'm also getting better at identifying birds by their calls and trees by the rustle of the wind in their leaves.)
Sometimes, however, I'm broken out of my pre-caffeinated cocoon-ey state by something unusual. Today, it happened to be an approaching figure swathed in something the color of the dahlias that Raphaella gave me this year. How pleasant to see, when we got closer, an incredibly handsome monk who was probably roughly the same age as I am. I gave him one of my biggest (and consequently silliest) smiles, and got in return one of those wonderfully cryptic (and almost flirty) ones with the soupcon of a wink that I've always gotten from the Buddhist monks around here. Yes, it gave me a thrill, and, yes, I'm still thinking about it hours later.